Husch Blackwell, Clifford Chance, Jones: Business of Law

Husch Blackwell LLP, a 543-lawyer firm, merged with 65-attorney Brown McCarroll LLP on June 18, giving it new outposts in Texas, including offices in Austin, Dallas and Houston.

“As early as our very first meeting with representatives from Brown McCarroll, we saw that culturally, strategically and geographically, the combination of our two firms was a significant opportunity,” Greg Smith, the chief executive officer and managing partner of Husch Blackwell, said in a statement. “Their industry strength in health care, real estate and energy aligns perfectly with three of our strongest strategic industry groups.”

The combined firms, to remain known as Husch Blackwell, have lawyers at 16 cities in the U.S. and in London. Based on 2012 revenue reported this year in the American Lawyer, the combined firms would have had an annual revenue of $319 million, putting them at number 94 on the magazine’s list of highest revenue-generating firms, according to Husch Blackwell.

Brown McCarroll, founded in 1938, focuses on energy, health-care and real estate matters. Among its clients are Community Health Systems Inc., Covenant Management Systems LP and Wells Fargo & Co.

“We’ve been approached several times with offers to combine with other national firms, and Husch Blackwell was the match we’ve been waiting for,” Adam Hauser, managing partner of Brown McCarroll, said in a statement.

Husch Blackwell was created after two 2008 mergers. One was between St. Louis-based Husch & Eppenberger and Kansas City, Missouri-based Blackwell Sanders. The second was with Chicago-based Welsh & Katz. The firm’s key clients include Algonquin Power Co., Monsanto Co. and Express Scripts Inc.


Anderson Kill Adds Three Litigators in New York

Litigator David Graff, along with two associates, is joining Anderson Kill & Olick PC as a shareholder in New York from Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP.

Graff, who at 31 is Anderson Kill’s youngest shareholder, joined the corporate and commercial litigation group, where he will work on commercial disputes including breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent conveyances, securities and employment, the firm said.

Among his notable representations was a case on behalf of investors in ZST Digital Networks Inc., which voluntarily delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market, causing its stock to drop, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move, called “going dark,” is seen as a way to allow some companies to go private cheaply, the newspaper said.

In the ZST case, a Delaware judge granted Graff’s client a put option for his shares as part of a contempt order against the Chinese company over its failure to produce books and records, resulting in a $32 million judgment, Anderson Kill said in the statement.

Graff and the two lawyers who work with him are “an exceptional litigation team, always ready to think outside the box and act swiftly to secure their clients’ interests,” Larry Kill, the chairman of Anderson Kill’s corporate and commercial litigation group, said in a statement.

Anderson Kill has lawyers at seven U.S. offices.

Mintz Levin Hires Ex-ITC Attorney Shah in Washington

Aarti Shah, the former senior investigative attorney at the U.S. International Trade Commission, joined Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo PC as a member in the firm’s intellectual property practice in Washington.

Shah spent almost five years in the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations, where she represented the U.S. as lead government counsel in matters involving trade secrets, trademarks, and electrical, computer, mechanical and chemical patents, the firm said in a statement.

She was lead government counsel in a patent-infringement trial between Apple Inc. and Eastman Kodak Co. involving digital camera memory storage and power management, the firm said.

“Mintz Levin has a robust practice representing clients in high-stakes matters before the U.S. International Trade Commission,” Ivor R. Elrifi, co-chairman of the firm’s intellectual property practice, said in a statement. “Having served in a senior role at the ITC for several years, Aarti brings an extensive background and experience handling a range of complex matters.”

Mintz Levin has 500 lawyers in eight offices in the U.S. and London.

Clifford Chance Adds Ashley Prebble to London Insurance Group

Clifford Chance LLP said that Ashley Prebble will join the firm’s corporate insurance practice in London. He was a corporate insurance partner at Norton Rose Fulbright with particular expertise in both the Lloyd’s and London market and general insurance, the firm said.

Prebble specializes in corporate and regulatory insurance work including initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, Part VII transfers, distribution agreements and regulatory matters, the firm said.

At Norton Rose, Prebble advised on the Part VII transfer of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s Churchill, Direct Line and NIG businesses into UK Insurance Ltd.; the 135 million pound ($209 million) sale of HSBC Insurance Brokers to Marsh & McLennan Cos.; and Admiral Group Plc’s 711 million pound IPO, among other matters.

“Ashley joins us at a key time for the insurance industry, which faces unprecedented challenges and uncertainty due to market and regulatory pressures,” Katherine Coates, head of the corporate insurance practice at Clifford Chance, said in a statement.

Clifford Chance has 3,400 legal advisers in 35 offices in 25 countries.

Jones Day Adds Johan Kleyn as Partner in Amsterdam

Jones Day hired Johan Kleyn as a mergers-and-acquisitions partner in its Amsterdam Office. He was previously with Allen & Overy LLP. Two additional lawyers join him, one in global disputes and one in mergers and acquisitions.

Kleyn will focus on corporate matters with an emphasis on takeovers, litigation and boardroom counseling, the firm said.

Jones Day has 40 offices worldwide.

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